thx 3


Just look at all those yums!

This is the "okay can we eat already?" moment.


Violet finished her meal with a refreshing lemon slice... or four.

And of course we had to make our families play a game with us. This year it was Pit. Lots of aggressive yelling ensued. Probably mostly from me.

Then all of us enjoyed some delicious pie my mom made.

A few ring around the rosies later, everyone was ready for a long nap. And now Christmas & Violet's birthday preparations have taken over my life. In addition to, you know, my job and parenting an almost two-year-old with her ups and (extreme) downs. Bring it on, December!

thx 2

I had to prep the aromatics to stuff inside the turkey, which included dried rosemary and Italian parsley from my garden this summer. I love growing my own food.

Speaking of the turkey, it was time to get it out of the trash. Mmmmm.

Mike did all the gross stuff that actually involved touching the inside of the turkey, but I took it from there, starting with the seasoning and plentiful melted buttah.

Before the final flurry of pre-dinner prep, we took a bunch of family pix. It's amazing how, despite the fact that we are constantly taking photos, we have very few nice posed pics of the three of us. This is the first one since my birthday in March!

It was such a beautiful day outside! We spent the day with the windows open, which surely made the neighbors jealous of our cooking smells.

Like I said, plentiful melted buttah.

I whipped up some yummy lemon raspberry punch.

Mike made his delicious mashed potatoes. It was all about the buttermilk and butter. Seriously, there was butter all over this meal.

Mom helped with the gravy, which as far as I'm concerned is a crucial part of any good Thanksgiving meal.

The table was all set...

...And I put the final finishing touches on our meal. Conclusion coming tomorrow!


There was a lot to do to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner, but we had a little down time in the morning. Very little. But still, it was nice to be together as a family.

Violet admired her turkey before we set it out among the other decorations.

And then she enjoyed some leisurely reading while I got down to business.

While Violet played and read, I had a strict schedule to keep to. And yes that involved thawing the turkey in the trash can.

Soon it was time for V to change out of jammies into her pretty dress!

Lil cutie.

The adventure continues soon!

laundry day

Well, since Violet now knows how to match socks perfectly, we figured it was time to put her to work officially folding laundry.

She has the same approach that I have. Step one: procrastination.

Step two: folding.

Step three: don't feel like finishing. Then back to step one.

Eventually the lil busy bee found a fast way to get everything looking nice and in the basket ready to put away.

favorite things part 2

The craziness of the Karen in Color favorite things (non-)give away continues!

Berkley Illustration animal prints [link]

These are seriously amazing and hilarious. I have bought a few as gifts now, and have been told many compliments from friends have ensued. Help an artist out and display an anthropomorphized animal portrait in your hallway.

Willow Lane Pumpkin & Cinnamon candle [link]

I consider myself a pumpkin-scented candle connoisseur, and I like these better than most I've seen (and, you know, smelled). I get mine at Rite Aid for almost half the price that it's listed on Amazon, and they even often have these buy one get two free sales! I mean, that's a lotttt of pumpkin goin on.

The Hunger Games DVD [link]

Okay, this is like duh. GREAT books, GREAT movie. Enough said.

Crocus bulbs [link]

Crocuses are like a light at the end of the tunnel. Just when winter starts to get really really annoying, and you're like OKAY can it be warm yet, these little guys sprout up from the cold ground. They're the first flowers you'll see, and even though they don't last long, it's worth it for the lil ray of hope for spring to come.

Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider's Guide to Detroit book [link]

This is a brand-new release coming super soon. If you want to experience Detroit through the lens of a hipstery native, then allow three of them to guide you to the places you should go for good times. Support local business owners! The awesome people of City Bird are behind this super cool project.

Customized map button & magnet [link]

Okay, let's keep the local love a-comin'. Represent your city or a favorite place with a little button or magnet! My haul is pictured. I just love that ol' Michigan. And Etsy. Obviously. It's kind of an unhealthy obsession...

Recycled book journals [link]

Speaking of which, I am so loving this notebook. Mostly because it is a recycled, weird, old medical encyclopedia, and I get to carry it with me and use it when I'm at work! There are tons of options of different covers- Check out the link for more cool journals. You know, if you actually need to physically write stuff down somewhere.

Reached by Ally Condie [link], Dare Me by Megan Abbott [link], & Insurgent by Veronica Roth [link]

YA lit author + girl protagonist + dystopian society + heroic decisions + splash of romance = winning combo for a novel for young people... um, and me, apparently. (*ahem* Hunger Games...) I promise though that these will suck you in. And afterwards you can go back to reading the kinds of books you don't have to feel embarrassed about toting around. (FYI, Dare Me is actually a a non-dystopian dark mystery, but also came out this year and is geared toward and features the lives of teen girls).

Aardvark manifesto letterpress prints [link]

Okay, this is an obv. I've only mentioned the "Kill Your TV" print once or twice here on the blogginz. But check out the lovely selection of Aardvarkonsea letterpress prints at the link above and give your walls a little character. You have a little space available next to those animal illustrations.

Amani Ya Juu products [link]

Lastly, you have to check this stuff out. Amani ya Juu (“higher peace” in Swahili) is a sewing-marketing-training project for marginalized women in Africa. They are taught to handcraft & sew these products to earn a living, and meanwhile experience a supportive community with each other amidst bleak circumstances. There are so many lovely products to choose from. I featured a few favorites here, but go to the link for more. You're supporting an amazing cause!

Anyway, that concludes Karen's favorite things! Thanks everyone for indulging in my ridiculousness!

Hey, at least I'm probably not as crazy as this dude... right? Maybe?

this week's soundtrack


Other than the sweet sound of silence, all I've been wanting to listen to lately is some seriously chill tunes. Here's what's playing (very quietly):

My Lady's House - Iron & Wine
Caught a Long Wind - Feist
Waiting On an Angel - Ben Harper
Roslyn - Bon Iver & St. Vincent
Transatlanticism - Death Cab for Cutie
Arithmetic - Brooke Fraser
Poison & Wine - The Civil Wars
Jolene - Ray Lamontagne
You Really Got a Hold on Me - She & Him
Twilight Galaxy (acoustic) - Metric
Heysátan - Sigur Rós
Encantada - Ida
All Is Full of Love - Björk
Winter Song - Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson
Close Your Eyes - Juliana Hatfield
Wild is the Wind - Cat Power
To Be Alone with You - Sufjan Stevens
Moon and Moon - Bat for Lashes
The Blower's Daughter - Damien Rice
Satellite Heart - Anya Marina

pie pity party

So the fam was off to an annual awesome Thanksgiving party that our friends host. We always bring a crate o games so we can lol the night away while ingesting massive portions of turkey and all the fixins. Violet packed a few of her fav games and was ready to party in her leopard print skinny jeans.

I had signed up to bring pumpkin pie, so I made two of them. I made them at the same time, which required fitting them in the oven diagonally with one closer to the back. I pulled this one out and it looked wonderful.

This is some high-tech photoshoppery to illustrate how the second one turned out. When I saw it I was quite upset so Mike did not feel like fanning the flame by taking a photo. But yeah, it was black all over.

However, I discovered that only the visible layer of crust and pie were black and the rest was fine... So I did some crafty work chiseling off the blackened crust pieces and peeling off the leathery pumpkin.

Meanwhile, V was like CAN WE GO HAVE FUN ALREADY?

And I was like YEP. A lot of effort, a cookie cutter, and a whole buncha sugar made it look kinda maybe okay!

So then we were off! I was delighted when people said "Oooh! What kind of pie is that?" And then they ate it and were like "Oooh that's good!" And then I was like "Why do you keep saying oooh" and they were all "oooh I don't know what oooh are talking about."

And we all lived happily ever after.

my name is karen

and here you will find things that i make and see.

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